August 8, 2019

Evil Spirit Sickness

Edward Schieffelin, working… among native peoples of New Guinea, found that a new disease category, “Evil Spirit Sickness,” had come with the missionaries. Local people began to explain all sorts of different chronic ailments by this suddenly popular illness. Social, psychological, and physiological factors were now combined in a new set of meanings, which could be presented to the missionaries for their resolution.
— Richard Grossinger, Planet Medicine, 1980